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In a move that could significantly impact overseas healthcare workers, the UK Home Secretary has unveiled a strategy aimed at reducing migration levels and addressing abuse within the immigration system. This marks the most substantial planned decrease in net migration to date, according to reports from Wego.

 

The proposed changes to the Health and Care Worker visa will tighten regulations, preventing overseas care workers from bringing their dependants to the UK. Furthermore, in England, only care providers engaged in activities regulated by the Care Quality Commission will be able to sponsor migrant workers.

In the year ending September 2023, approximately 101,000 Health and Care Worker visas were granted to care workers and senior care workers. An estimated 120,000 visas were also issued to associated dependants. It is estimated that a majority of these dependents do not work but still utilize public services.

Starting next spring, the government plans to increase the earning threshold for overseas workers by nearly 50%, raising it from the current £26,200 to £38,700. This move is designed to encourage businesses to prioritize British talent and invest in their workforce, aligning salaries with the average full-time income for such roles. The minimum income requirement for British citizens and settled individuals wanting to bring family members to the UK will also be raised. These adjustments underscore the government’s emphasis on the need for all individuals residing and working in the country to independently support themselves, contribute to the economy, and not depend on state resources.